Friday, August 9, 2013

A Closer Look At Patrick Egan

Patrick Egan’s death certificate provides interesting information. To begin: Patrick Egan was the informant of his own death certificate. This means that information he provided prior to his passing was used to create his death certificate.

Name:                Patrick Egan
Residences:        2103 Hastings St., Chicago, Illinois
Patient:              Oak Forest Infirmary
Birth Date:         March 17, 1843
Birth Place:        County Altone, Ireland
Death Date:        July 31, 1920
Age at Death:     77 years, 4 months, 14 days
Cause of Death:  Chronic Myocarditis, Diarrhea, Arteriosclerosis, and Senility
Place of Burial:   Calvary Cemetery
Date of Burial:    August 3, 1920
Undertaker:        J.E. Moher, Oak Forest (Could not locate funeral home)
Occupation:        Laborer
Patrick was a white male and a widower.
His wife was named Margaret.
Parents’ names & birthplaces were unknown

I continue to chuckle at Patrick Egan’s birth date. Was Patrick really born on St. Patrick’s Day? Or was the date his “adopted” birth date?

Patrick passed away in the Oak Forest Infirmary. The Oak Forest Infirmary was built in 1907 as a poor farm due to overcrowding at the Dunning Poor Farm on the northwest side of Chicago. By 1910 the facility held 2,000 people who were destitute due to poverty, mental illness, alcoholism and other reasons.

Patrick Egan’s death certificate reports health issue including senility. The Oak Forest Infirmary may have been the “best” or only option for his family. Patrick had been a widower for twenty-one years. His eldest child, Mary Dooley nee Egan, passed away in 1909. Daughter Elizabeth Scanlon nee Egan passed in 1913. His daughter Celia Morrissey nee Egan may have had to make the decision to go into the infirmary for her father.

The Chicago History Museum’s online resources hold several photographs of the Oak Forest Infirmary/ Poor Farm. The photographs are from the Chicago Daily News. Here is a link should you wish to see the facility. Clink on the link and scroll down to Oak Forest Hospital, Oak Forest Infirmary and Oak Forest Poor Farm.


This Irishman appears to have had a very challenging life.

God Bless


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